Tommy Bowden enters his sixth year as the head coach of the Tigers and the offense has undergone major identity changes so far.
Bowden arrived at Clemson with a swashbuckling offense. This fast break scheme put pressure on defenses. Brandon Streeter and company faced a difficult schedule but the Tigers were exciting. Clemson fans got a peak at the future and loved what they saw.
The next phase or wrinkle came with Rich Rodriquez heading to West Virginia and Woody Dantzler emerging. This "Run Woody Run" offense was also exciting. He and the Tigers broke offensive records and drove defensive coordinators crazy.
The third identity signed on with the emergence of Charlie Whitehurst as he beat out Willie Simmons late in his freshman season. Whitehurst has broken records and this offense is also as exciting as the two it followed. The difference under this phase is the Tigers beat a couple of big name opponents and destroyed their in-state rival.
So what is the next phase under Bowden? Where does it go post Whitehurst? Judging from the young talent already on campus and those committed to play for Clemson in the future, it appears the identity of the program will feature the strength along the offensive line.
Next season the Tigers are scheduled to have:
Jr-R. Frye, DeBeer, Dukes, Pilgrim, Bennett, D. Fry
So-Capote, LaTray and Robinson and Richardson (assuming they avoid red-shirts)
Fr-Willis, Tremel, Hutchinson, Grant, Austin, Ruffin, Humphries, Lambert
Nineteen offensive lineman with only one senior. This should be Bowden's most talented unit for years to come. From this type of offensive line talent can come bigger things. When Bowden and David Blackwell visited Oklahoma this past spring both said the major difference in the Tigers and Oklahoma appeared to be the number of big bodies.
It was just a few short years ago that some claimed Bowden could not sign the big offensive lineman. That has changed and once again the identity of this offense will soon too.